About this blog

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire ... The A-Team.

This was the introduction to one of the great TV series of the eighties. The purpose of this blog is to build up the definitive episode guide to the show across its five seasons which ran from 1983 to 1987. So this isn't too much of a burden, I'm intending to watch a couple of episodes a week and given that there were around 100 episodes made during its run, this will turn into a year-long project!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Breakout! s3ep13

Co-starring: Steve Sandor as Deke Logan, Jeff Doucette as Malcolm Jones, Robert Donner as Sheriff Bickford, Bruce M Fischer as Jones, Tawny Mayer as Patty, Lenore Kasdorf as Callie Russell, Lance Le Gault as Colonel Decker, Carl Franklin as Captain Crane
Written by Mark Jones, Stephen Katz
Directed by Dennis Donnelly

BA and Murdock are arrested when they are mistaken for part of a gang who robbed a bank.

Although this episode does not feature Face beyond two short scenes conducted over the phone, it is one of the highlights of the season. A fast-moving tale with plenty of action and good humour, it benefits from an excellent script in which a number of subplots are built into a strong overall storyline. The episode gets off to a quick start with a well-staged chase sequence and the pace never lets up from there, partly due to Decker never being too far behind.

Having BA and Murdock together but separate from the others works superbly well, not only from the humour of their antagonism but also from seeing them having to co-operate to evade the pursuing Decker. The episode is like an A-Team version of ‘The Defiant Ones’ for part of the running time as events see Murdock and BA chained together and forced to go on the run.

Hannibal, meanwhile, has an individual subplot involving the robbers who framed Murdock and BA. You might expect this part to lack interest givent that Hannibal is on his own. It is a credit to Peppard’s strong screen presence that he makes the scenes in which he has to protect a young family just as involving and entertaining as the BA/Murdock sections. Among the overall highlights are Hannibal’s improvised flamethrower, BA and Murdock’s windbuggy and a fight with Murdock disguised as a scarecrow.

The dialogue is sharp and funny with Murdock taking the lion’s share while BA reacts in his typically aggressive but this time somewhat supportive way. Upon their arrest, Murdock memorably remarks of BA, “Does he look like the kind of guy who would threaten someone? Let me rephrase that”. I also love the moment all the convicts say "Hey!" back at Mayer when she arrives in the truck.

The action is frequent and well-integrated into the story and although the ending suggests the team have forgotten about their van, such a minor criticism can’t detract from one of the all-time great episodes. 10/10

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